A/N: I know most of you are going to kill me for posting a new story… but it just couldn't be helped! XD I was completely stuck on Destined Encounters, so I decided to inspire myself by writing another Neji/Saku fic… don't ask me how this works, cause I'm not exactly sure, but I can assure you that it does! I know I promised to update the aforementioned fic, but Neji was being extremely problematic… sigh.
I'm really excited about this one since I've got it all planned out. It won't be very long, at the most 3 chapters, so I can go back to work on my other stories soon.
So, enough for now… I really hope you enjoy it!
How does one manage to keep a forced distance from your object of affection for an indefinite period of time?
How do you ignore those treacherous emotions of the heart which, in the most unexpected moments, threaten to come to the surface and express themselves?
A Hyuuga wasn't supposed to show any type of sentiment; a Hyuuga was supposed to be cool, calculating, never allowing the feelings of his spirit to filter through his judgments. A prodigy was not supposed to become infatuated; it simply did not happen. Never in the history of his family had such circumstances taken place… at least, not in the open, and he had vowed he would not be the first one to make it so. He would be going against years of tradition, where the males of the family behaved like unfeeling and uncaring bastards, never allowing themselves to wallow in the weakness of passion.
But one more time, Neji found himself rebelling against the establishments of his clan and slowly, he had let his emotions filter through his tightly held control. No matter how hard he tried to hide behind his stoic façade, his heart would always betray him by speaking its truth through the smallest of gestures. And thus, he now found himself in the situation he had desired and feared for a long time.
Haruno Sakura had been a revelation to him once Naruto had returned from his training with Jiraiya-sama. Even though they had lived in the same village, the pink haired kunoichi and the silver eyed prodigy had never crossed paths during those two years of the blond's absence. Both had been too concentrated on their respective trainings, too focused on becoming stronger in their own way. Neji had just achieved jounin level when they were sent on that initial mission to Sunagakure, to save the Kazekage from the clutches of Akatsuki.
It was then that he had seen her true light and after she saved Kankurou's life, after she fought against Sasori and bested him, the Hyuuga could do nothing but admire her vigor. From what he remembered, Sakura had always been the weakest member of team 7; too worked up with his own obsession concerning the workings of destiny, he had barely given her a glance during their first chuunin exam. He had only taken the time to admit that she was too fragile to become a true ninja and that she wasn't an adversary worthy of him.
How wrong he had been.
Once they saved Gaara from death with the help of Chiyo-sama, Neji was taken aback by the open display of emotion Sakura's tears had given them at the great sacrifice the old woman had performed. She was solid steel and soft silk all mixed into one… she was a walking contradiction, an amazingly powerful kunoichi who had escaped from the cage of her own limitations with sheer strength of will but who was incredibly in touch with her emotions and could show the greatest compassion for other people while she performed her duties as a medic nin.
Haruno Sakura was an enigma… full of fire, anger and with the power to destroy solid rock walls with her bare hands at a moment in time, but in the next minute, she would be the kindest and sweetest person you could ever talk to. Inevitably, Neji found himself drawn to the strange mix which encompassed this woman and he could do little to prevent his curiosity from getting the best of him.
On the way back to Konoha, while Gai-sensei carried Kakashi-san on his back, the silver eyed prodigy had hung back, walking near Naruto and Sakura at all time. Even though he didn't join in the conversation, he heard them talk to each other about everything they had done while they had been separated. It was in this way that Neji learned many things about Sakura in the time it took them to get back to their village. He suddenly knew that she had saved up money to get a place of her own, that she enjoyed working at Konoha's hospital, especially in the children's ward, that she sometimes found her sensei irritating due to her gambling problems and that she liked to take naps during sunny afternoons.
For the life of him, Neji did not know what use he would be able to discern from these facts, but he found himself filing them away in the back of his mind, as if saving them for future reference.
Naruto, however, did not allow him to continue his information gathering since the blond suddenly demanded that the silver eyed prodigy tell him about everything that he had done while he had been away. Sighing in resignation, Neji knew there was no way he could escape the interrogation, and considering the debt he owed Naruto, he wasn't in a position to turn him down.
Hence, he told them about his trainings, about his exams and how he had attained jounin level just a couple of days before leaving for their mission. The blond almost pulled his hair out when Neji told him this last bit of information and proceeded to rant about all the chances he had missed in climbing the shinobi ranks in Konoha thanks to his perverted teacher.
While Naruto kept ranting, Sakura approached Neji and congratulated him for his achievements with a wide smile, telling him in no small terms that what he had attained in such a short time was worthy of admiration. He thanked her stoically but internally, his heart swelled with the knowledge that she had giving him her approval and that she thought highly of him.
It was the key event which led to the deceitful workings of his heart.
He was made ANBU captain a few months after that and he spent little time in the village. But whenever he was home, he would make it a point to try and see Sakura, at least from a distance. He found himself attending all sorts of social events where he knew she would most likely be. At first, his friends were surprised to see him there, since he wasn't the most outgoing person in the world and had, up to that moment, kept his distance from such gatherings. Not that they were complaining, as they enjoyed his company very much and were in truth happy to see him more often. Neji didn't give them any clues as to the reason why he was going out more and was content to observe a certain pink haired kunoichi from afar.
But as it was the case, they shared the exact same group of friends; all of those who had taken their first chuunin exam together so long ago had formed close bonds and their friendships held throughout time. Therefore, Neji found himself coming closer and closer to Sakura as the days passed and he found that he could even strike up a casual conversation with her when he passed her 'accidentally' on the street.
Sakura would always be friendly with him, like she was with everyone else. She would stop, chat with him for a couple of minutes and then be on her way. Little did the pink haired kunoichi know that these small encounters meant a great deal to the Hyuuga prodigy, but he always made sure not to give anything away whenever they had any sort of contact. Neji had vowed that he would take his secret to the grave; he hadn't told anyone, not even Tenten, who had been his friend since early childhood and his confidante for many long years.
It was a useless cause anyway and the silver eyed Captain knew it. Around the village, Sakura's infatuation with Uchiha Sasuke was common knowledge and after the disastrous events surrounding Team 7, Neji was aware of the chaotic emotions that the kunoichi was surely experiencing, even after such a long time. Her heart belonged to someone else and the Hyuuga prodigy did not want to cause her any discomfort.
At first, he was absolutely content with observing her from a distance and to have only casual meetings on the street or at social gatherings. But his devious heart wanted more and he found himself pulled into its manipulative schemes. At one point, Sakura invited all of them to a dinner party and Neji found himself washing all the dishes for her before leaving; at other times, he found himself volunteering to walk her home after a night out, even though he knew very well that she could take care of herself. Surprisingly, Sakura had accepted his offers with a wide smile and she seemed to enjoy his quiet company.
It was when they met by true coincidence at a restaurant that the Hyuuga prodigy really started to worry. He was meeting Tenten for lunch, since she had some things she needed to talk to him about concerning a long-term mission she was thinking about accepting, but as was usually the case, the Weapon's Master was running late. So, he was waiting in silent contemplation at his table when the chair next to him was suddenly occupied by a smiling and talkative Sakura, who seemed to be overrunning with happiness at finding him there.
No shock filtered through his carefully controlled façade, but his heart gave a sudden leap when he found the object of his affection so close to him without any previous warning. She leaned in as she talked and from what he could discern through his surprise, she was waiting for someone as well and had been sitting, quite bored, a few tables away until she spotted her 'favorite ANBU Captain'. She giggled in humor as she said this but the effect of the words was not lost on Neji. He didn't know if he wanted to flee for his life or to stay with her at that table for the rest of the day.
They talked for a while, or at least, Sakura talked while the silver eyed jounin listened to her intently and watched her with hidden admiration. He enjoyed her company thoroughly and he always found himself smiling more often whenever she was around. But after a few minutes of listening to her, Neji felt his attention slipping and he shocked himself beyond belief with the thoughts which entered his mind.
As he looked at her, emerald eyes sparkling with the words she was saying as she casually rested her chin on one hand while playing with the napkin holder on the table with the other, he found himself amazed at how truly beautiful she was. And as a bang of cherry hair slipped over her eyes and she flicked it back with her hand, Neji found himself wondering if her hair was truly as soft as it seemed.
When the thought crossed his mind, he found his hand twitching with the need to caress her pink locks and could only prevent himself from reaching out by sheer force of will. He was suddenly furious with himself for thinking such things, for almost giving away the secret knowledge of his heart. It would do him no good to give in to his deceitful feelings and would only hurt her in return as she would be forced to let him know that she loved someone else.
Something must have filtered through his face, since Sakura stopped momentarily and asked him if he was alright. He looked up directly into her jewel eyes for an instant in time, but as he was about to voice his reply and to tell her that everything was fine, Ino stepped up and interrupted him. Seemingly, she was Sakura's lunch date and with another one of her many smiles, the pink haired kunoichi stood up and said farewell to Neji as both women made their way towards a table at the back of the restaurant.
Tenten arrived shortly after that and having known the prodigious jounin for a while now, she immediately noticed his distraction.
"Neji, are you ok?" she said in greeting. "You look like if you've just had a disagreement with your uncle."
"I'm fine," he answered her, not wanting to discuss the subject at all.
"Alright, but if there's anything you want to talk about, you know where to find me."
He thanked her for her concern but left it at that. Afterwards, when he had parted ways with Tenten, he went straight home to train. He worked his body like he had never done before, punishing himself for almost giving in to his weakness. He released his anger by pushing his chakra system to his limits and exercised his Byakugan until he couldn't take anymore. Exhausted, he dropped unto his futon until very late that night, wanting nothing more than to be swallowed into the oblivion of sleep. But he never got his rest, since visions of pink hair and emerald eyes haunted him and he lingered endlessly in that fine line between wakefulness and slumber.
Consequently, Hyuuga Neji was in a notorious mood for the next couple of weeks and he dedicated himself to his missions full heartedly, not wanting to have any contact with anyone else apart from what was strictly necessary. Lee and Kiba inquired after him one day and came to see him, but Neji just told them that the Hokage had scheduled many missions for him and that he was powerless to do anything about it.
Losing himself in his work, he was surprised to find that two months had gone by without him seeing Sakura even once. This, however, didn't mean that his heart didn't ache silently from the lack of contact but he swallowed his weakness and continued with his life.
It was then that he had been called to Tsunade-sama's office, only to find a team of shinobi already gathered there. To his shock, Sakura was part of the gathering and she was sitting near the Hokage's desk; she smiled brightly at him when he sat down in the reserved seat next to her.
She was more beautiful than he remembered her to be. His breathing got caught in his throat and he had the suspicion that the reactions his body was having at her closeness were only intensified by his failure to see her in so long.
Hyuuga Neji reminded himself of the task at hand and forced himself to pay attention to what their leader was saying instead of focusing on Sakura's crossed legs which were perilously close to his own. Why did she have to wear those shorts and those boots all the time?
Thankfully, Tsunade-sama started briefing them on the mission they were about to undertake and the silver eyed jounin found his mind concentrating elsewhere.
A group of men, some of them renegade shinobi from different villages, had taken a politician hostage and it was said that they were led by a missing nin from Konoha. The mission was supposed to be a rescue operation but they would try to eliminate the renegade nin at the same time. That's were Neji came in. He could consider this an ANBU task since he would assassinate the man at the first opportunity, and due to his expertise, he would be leading the mission.
The group were said to be hiding somewhere near the border of the Mist country and it would be their task to track them out and bring the politician back. The men weren't supposed to be a problem, since they weren't terribly skilled ninjas, and they couldn't possibly make a stand against a group of fully qualified shinobi. Their leader, however, was a different story, since he had a history of being extremely clever at hiding and at ambushing his adversaries. This was the reason why Neji had been selected, since with his Byakugan, he would be able to see through the renegade's schemes effortlessly.
The meeting was adjourned and they all agreed to set out at first light the next morning. As everyone walked out of the office, Neji was surprised to find Sakura at his side as he made his way down the corridor.
"Haven't seen you in a while," she told him, a rueful grin on her face.
He only nodded in response, trying to hide his confusion. If he didn't know better, he would've thought she was hinting that she had missed having him around.
"I've heard you've been busy…"
"Yes I have," he told her, his voice steady. "ANBU has been extremely active lately."
"I know. Tsunade-sensei told me you've been volunteering for almost every mission," she said, looking at him from the corner of her eye.
Neji felt as if a bowling ball had fallen on the pit of his stomach. The Hokage would obviously tell her; she was her prized student, after all! And now she would ask him why… he simply knew it… and then, he would have to tell her the truth, because a Hyuuga never lied, no matter the circumstances. It was a code of conduct which had been engraved into his very being from the moment he was born.
He would have to tell her and she would have to reject him.
But as they reached the double doors of Konoha's headquarters, some merciful deity answered his silent prayers.
"Just try not to wear yourself out," she told him as she stopped momentarily on the steps, "it wouldn't be nice if you showed up with an exhausted chakra system at the hospital and I would have to treat you."
Neji found himself exhaling in relief.
"I promise I won't" he told her, a smile slipping from his lips.
"Good, because if you don't, I will personally make sure you don't move a muscle for at least a week," she replied with a mischievous grin.
The ANBU Captain thought he would die at the roguish expression on her face and he found himself speaking before he could prevent himself.
"I'd like to see you try".
As the words left his mouth, he slapped himself mentally and he wanted nothing more than for the earth to open up under his feet and swallow him whole.
"Is that a challenge, Hyuuga-san?" Sakura replied, her smile widening as she took a step closer to him.
If prodigies were allowed to break into a cold sweat, Neji was sure he would've done so then. But he was already in up to his knees, so if he was going to do this, he might as well do it right.
"It depends on how you look at it," he told her, gazing directly into her emerald eyes.
Sakura laughed then, shaking her head as she chuckled. "Well, we'll just have to see then," she said as she came even closer. She stopped only until she was a hairsbreadth away and looked up at him, returning his silver stare squarely, a glint in her green gaze.
"See you tomorrow," she finally said, breaking eye contact as she started walking down the street.
Neji stood on the steps watching her walk away until she turned a corner and was gone. What the hell had just happened he wasn't sure, but all he knew was that Sakura had approached him on her own and had, from what he could tell, attempted to flirt with him.
For the life of him, he didn't know how this could be possible.
Not wanting to think too much on it, Neji forced himself to concentrate on the upcoming mission and commenced to plan all the possible strategies with which he could confront the missing nin he was supposed to eliminate. But once he reached his home and started packing his necessary equipment, he was once more disturbed by cherry filled images.
He was going on a mission and Haruno Sakura would be part of his team. This would be the trial he had been dreading for a long time, where he would see if he was capable of preventing his emotions from clouding his judgments. But this was also the circumstance he had been dreaming secretly of as well… how many time had he wished for Sakura to be by his side during all those long and tedious missions? How many times had he craved for her presence all those nights where he found himself sleeping out in the open?
He knew it was merely wishful thinking but it had taken him a very long time to admit that he wanted to fight side by side with her, to see if they worked well as a team. Neji had always secretly told himself that if he ever came to share his life with a woman, then she would have to be able keep up with him in combat in her own way and would have to be his partner in every sense of the word.
Now, he would be getting his chance to test the woman he had laid eyes on and he found himself torn between the opposing desires of his mind and his heart. One of these two inner forces would eventually have to give in, or else he was sure he would lose his sanity… but which one it would be, he simply could not tell.
The odds were completely even, since he knew, deep down inside that he couldn't possibly be ruled by his emotions for it went against everything he had been taught in his life. Feelings made you weak and indulging in them was something a Hyuuga did not do. Besides, Sakura was interested in someone else and he couldn't possibly even attempt to compete against her long-time infatuation with Uchiha Sasuke. This whole scenario was simply pointless.
But then, his treacherous heart brought up the image of a grinning Sakura, mischief evident in her radiant eyes as she spoke to him while standing perilously near. A sliver of hope crawled up his spine and he found himself contemplating the possibility of her actually returning his interest. She had approached him herself and had engaged him in conversation openly. At least he was sure that she enjoyed his company… so why couldn't it be possible that she may want something more?
Shaking his head fiercely, Hyuuga Neji decided it was time he put a stop to such idiotic thoughts. He had a mission to lead and he was not going to let matters such as these distract him in the least. Being an ANBU Captain brought great responsibility and he refused to put the lives of his team members at risk just because of a foolish obsession with a kunoichi.
If his uncle ever got word of what was going on in his mind, Neji was sure he would be banished from the clan forever. Prodigious shinobi never let their emotions get in the way of what needed to be done and he promised himself, then and there, that he wouldn't be the exception.
The silver eyed jounin continued to pack his things with barely controlled violence, blatantly ignoring the aching part of his heart which protested against his decision.
She knew she was crazy… completely and absolutely crazy. But at least she could partially blame Ino for it.
Sakura had always prided herself for being exceedingly aware of her surroundings and of whatever went on around her, but this time, she had been caught completely off guard.
At first, she had thought that Neji's attentions were merely because he was an extremely polite person. He had been brought up in a household where everything was about manners and respect, therefore, he had always been more than proper with everyone he related to. It was the natural way in which he behaved and there was nothing else to it. Thus, just because he walked her home more often than not or that they had grown really close these past few months didn't mean a thing.
But then, he had to look directly into her eyes for a single moment when they were sitting together at that restaurant a couple of months back… and everything suddenly turned upside down.
The pink haired medic admitted it: she had been scared to death. Therefore, she had fled beside Ino and had chosen a table as far as possible from the ANBU Captain.
The blond had obviously picked up on the situation, since she had been standing while watching their interaction for a bit and had only decided to intervene when Neji had given Sakura 'the look' and the pink haired medic's body language suddenly spoke clearly of panic. Knowing they wouldn't be able to talk openly with the Hyuuga and his ever-seeing eyes so close by, Ino had decided they needed to make a run for it and they promptly went out the back door.
As they sat down at another restaurant down the street, Sakura didn't know what to say. Everything she had ever thought of Neji was suddenly being brought into new light and Ino was completely merciless in her interrogation. She forced her to analyze every single detail which had happened during the last few months and the conclusions they were both coming to did not sit well with the emerald eyed kunoichi.
"How could we not see this?" Ino exclaimed with equal parts frustration and excitement.
"Ino, I don't think…"
"Come on, Sakura! This is your chance!"
"My chance?" the pink haired medic asked in confusion.
"Yes! This is your chance to finally prove to yourself that you're finally over Sasuke!" her friend exclaimed with enthusiasm.
Reluctantly, Sakura knew there was some truth behind her friend's words but she didn't like were this was going. True, she had often talked to Ino concerning her desire to forget the Uchiha, at least in a romantic kind of way. Her heart had been too devastated when he had left to ever forgive his betrayal, and even though she didn't hate him, she had finally decided that a man who had hurt her more times than she could count could not possibly be any good for her. It was something which had taken her years to decide, even though the effort had been worth it.
But there was a great difference between saying or thinking something and actually acting it out.
"… and don't think I've forgotten all the little things you've told me about Neji," Ino was saying, a crafty look in her blue eyes, "I know you like him!"
"Of course I like him," Sakura replied defensively. "He's the nicest and most polite person in Konoha."
"Listen, sweety," Ino told her, turning serious all of a sudden, "I'm not going to push you into having a relationship with him or anything like that. But I want you to think about it real hard… what harm can there be if you get to know Neji just a little bit better? Sakura, after all you've been through, the least you deserve is a man like him."
Mercifully, Ino had left it at that but Sakura's mind wouldn't let the matter go so easily. That night, she had tossed and turned in her bed, trying to forget the way Neji's silver eyes had pierced through her, letting her know of his hidden emotions. It had only been for a fraction of a second but it had been enough. Never in her life had she experienced such an intense look from a man, and Sakura found that it scared her and thrilled her at the same time.
Helplessly, she found herself remembering all those small encounters they had had and she recalled the way his face would light up whenever he smiled. She knew his raven hair reached almost to his waist but he preferred to have it tied up in a high pony tail, preventing it from getting in his way while he was fighting. The light of the sun would reflect in his locks beautifully, bathing it with brilliant black-blue hues as he walked casually down the street.
Sakura recalled one time when she had met him on her way to Tsunade-sensei's office; he had just come back from reporting on a mission and was wearing his ANBU uniform while his feline mask hung loosely from his neck. The pink haired kunoichi hadn't been able to prevent herself from staring at his well-built form as he strolled down the corridor, the sleeveless shirt he was wearing openly revealing the corded muscles of his arms. Neji had stopped to greet her and all she could do was look at him, pretending to admire his ANBU tattoo as an excuse for her staring. They exchanged a few casual words and then he was on his way.
Of course he was handsome, everyone knew that. Hyuuga Neji was one of the most sought-after bachelors in all of Konoha! He had always been extremely attractive and it was every kunoichi's reverie to be his object of affection, not that he indulged in that sort of relationship, but still, a girl could dream. Therefore, Sakura openly admitted his good looks, but she had long ago filed him away as one of those men who were simply 'out of her league'. That done, she had no qualms about having an honest friendship with him and hadn't spared the situation another thought.
And then he had to go and complicate things…
Days passed and Sakura simply couldn't erase the vision of silver eyes from her mind. Going through her days wanting and dreading to meet him at the same time, it was only after a while that she began to notice Neji's absence. She had gone out of her way to put on a pretty dress one night the group had decided to go out, but she had been thoroughly disappointed when Lee had told her that the prodigy was currently out on a mission.
Ino noticed her misery straight away and told her not to worry, that he would turn up eventually… except that he didn't. A month and a half had suddenly passed since Sakura had last seen him and she was starting to get annoyed. One would think he was doing it on purpose but Neji wasn't the type of man who did that sort of thing. She found herself staying up late without sleeping just to think about him and went about her everyday tasks with thoughts of him in the back of her mind. How this had come to happen, she wasn't sure, but she found her infatuation with the Hyuuga growing by the minute.
So, somewhere between her irritation and her desire to see him, Haruno Sakura consciously decided that if he didn't come to her, she would go to him. This meant she would have to be sneaky about the whole thing, but one didn't have the fifth Hokage as a mentor and friend for nothing.
Tsunade merely lifted an elegant eyebrow on the day her student came barging into her office, asking that she be assigned on a mission with ANBU Captain Hyuuga Neji. She was about to ask the reason behind her request, but one good look at her pupil's eyes and the way she was biting her lower lip nervously was enough for her to realize the cause. The Hokage laughed out loud and congratulated Sakura on her choice, saying she couldn't have picked a better man. She then proceeded to let her know of Neji's strange mission habits as of late and let her know that the prodigy was basically working himself to the bone.
The pink haired medic narrowed her eyes in suspicion at this information, but decided to let it slip for the time being. The stage was finally set and nothing would come between her and her goal. Neji was obviously having certain denial problems with his emotions, which was completely predictable, and the least she could do was to help him along the way… even if it meant that she needed to use every trick in the book.
One simply did not let the opportunity slip when you realized that a renowned, sweet and gorgeously handsome prodigy had feelings for you… Sakura was smarter than that. She didn't know where any of this was going, but life was opening a door for her and she refused not to walk through it.
Now, the day had come and she found herself standing by the gates of Konoha with the rest of the team, waiting for their Captain to arrive.
As she watched Neji arrive a few minutes later, she knew she was officially insane. He came up to her and greeted her with a smile, but quickly moved towards the rest of the shinobi assembled, ready to depart. Sakura found herself momentarily regretting her decision, since she suddenly realized that he would behave completely 'professional' throughout the whole mission. But she steeled her resolve and decided that, if he wanted to play the game of hiding behind his duty, then she would just have to beat him at it.
If he thought she would sit still and passive waiting for him to make his move, then he was in for a surprise. If there was something Sakura had learnt from her experiences with Sasuke was the fact that in life, you couldn't let the days pass you by while you sat idly doing nothing. You needed to go out and fight for what you desired, for what you wanted; you needed to tell the people you loved how you felt, because you never knew when they would disappear from your life.
She had vowed to never make that same mistake twice.
The team stepped outside the gate, their formation already assembled. They were a group of six, therefore, they would travel in pairs the whole time. Sakura's partner was another young chuunin named Garu, with who she had been on missions before. Neji would be traveling at the end of the line with the other jounin on the team, Taji. They were the top ranking members of the group and would ensure the rear defense.
Sakura was the only female on the team but she didn't mind. She found herself surrounded by males more often than not and found she could behave completely at ease with them, which wasn't the case with some kunoichi… especially a certain blond friend of hers.
She was shaken out of her thoughts when she realized it was time to leave and saw the first pair of the team jump up into the trees.
Walking up to the tree line, she passed Neji who had by now put on his ANBU mask, and decided to deign him with one of her most charming smiles as she walked by. She couldn't see his face, but she was an expert in reading body language; Neji's shoulders tensed and she swore she saw him fist his right hand before she had been forced to look away.
Chuckling slightly after she had jumped into the trees along with Garu, Sakura could clearly hear the sounds of the two jounins as they came into step a small distance behind them.
"What are you laughing at?" Garu asked with a grin as they jumped from branch to branch.
"Oh nothing," Sakura replied matching his smile, "I just think I'm going to have a lot of fun on this mission."
Read and review everybody! Your thoughts are much appreciated.